Almost-Famous Popcorn Shrimp
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons lager beer
- 8 jarred pepperoncini, drained and halved lengthwise
- 2 jarred roasted red peppers, drained and cut into bite-size pieces
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- Lemon wedges, cocktail sauce and/or tartar sauce, for serving
Mix 3 cups ice water, the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp and set aside 15 minutes, then drain well and pat dry. Dry the bowl; return the shrimp to the bowl and toss with 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning.
Whisk the flour, cornstarch, confectioners' sugar, the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning and the beer in a large bowl to make a smooth batter. Add the shrimp, pepperoncini and roasted peppers and stir until evenly coated.
Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Working in batches, remove the shrimp, pepperoncini and roasted peppers from the batter with a slotted spoon, transfer to the hot oil and fry until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels; season with salt. Serve with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce and/or tartar sauce.
Photograph by Kang Kim
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